Gongendo Park in Satte City, Saitama Prefecture, holds a Cherry Blossom Festival from late March to early April every year.
Gongendo Sakura-tsutsumi offers a splendid contrast between the pale pink of the cherry blossom tunnels and the yellow of the rape blossoms.
Please note that the “Cherry Blossom Festival” schedule has been moved earlier this year due to the earlier-than-usual blooming of Someiyoshino cherry blossom.
History of Gongendo
Gongendo Tsutsumi* was created in 1576.
The Gongendo River is also known as the “Violent River” and has broken several times since it first broke in 1704.
In 1826, after repeated breaches of the levee, 1,300 pine saplings were planted on the Gongendo levee to reinforce the levee, but they did not take root, and several attempts were unsuccessful.
Even under such circumstances, the area around Gongendo-tsutsumi is a plain as far as the eye can see, and from the top of the levee there is a fine view of Mount Fuji to the west and Tsukuba to the east.
The Gongendo-tsutsumi has been a place of affection for people since the distant past.
In 1916, cherry trees were planted for the first time, and in 1920, 3,000 cherry tree saplings were planted along a 6-km stretch.
Unfortunately, with the defeat of the war in 1945, the cherry trees in Gongendo-tsutsumi were cut down for fuel.
However, in 1949, 3,000 cherry tree seedlings were planted again in the hope of reviving the cherry tree bank, of which about 1,000 remain today.
What is Tsutsumi?
A bank of earth built up high on the banks of a river, pond, etc., to prevent water from overflowing. A bank. A pond that stores water. A reservoir.
Current Gongendo Park
Saitama Prefecture is developing Gongendo Park as a “recreational base and a place to interact with water” by utilizing the waterside space of Satte Gongendo Sakura-tsutsumi, which is well known as a cherry blossom viewing spot, and the adjacent Gongendo Regulating Pond.
The park consists of four parks.
Park No. 1
Park No. 1 is a multi-purpose sports plaza, located in the northernmost part of Gongendo Park in a zone that straddles Satte City and Kuki City, and fully opened in 2011, it has a ball game plaza for youth baseball and ground golf, a multi-purpose plaza with grass all around, and playground equipment such as a large sailboat.
The park is crowded with families with children on holidays.
Park No. 2
Park No. 2, which opened last year in 2022, is a park designed for recreation.
Families and groups can spend a relaxing day at two locations,a day campsite in the north area with washing facilities and a south area with four large playground equipment units.
In addition, a round trip between the playground in the south area and the grassy plaza in the north area is approximately 1.5 km, making it ideal for strolling and jogging.
As a disaster prevention park, it is equipped with a heliport and eight kamado benches, making it a primary evacuation site in the event of a disaster.
Park No. 3
Park No. 3 is the smallest park, but with its observation hill and greenery, it is a place of relaxation and recreation.
Park No. 4
This park is home to the Satte Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi, a famous cherry blossom viewing spot in the Kanto region.
Currently, approximately 1,000 Someiyoshino cherry blossom are in full bloom along a 1-km stretch, creating a magnificent contrast with the rape blossoms around the levee.
Visitors can also enjoy the colorful hydrangea in June, the bright red Manjusyage (higanbana) in September, and about 500,000 pretty white daffodils in January throughout the year.
The 90th Satte Cherry Blossom Festival
From late March to early April each year, approximately 1,000 Someiyoshino cherry blossoms bloom along a 1km-long embankment, creating a tunnel of cherry blossoms.
In addition, rape blossoms are grown in a coordinated manner so that they bloom at the same time as the cherry blossoms, allowing visitors to enjoy the contrast between the pale pink of the cherry blossoms and the yellow of the rape blossoms.
However, this year the Someiyoshino cherry blossoms have begun to bloom earlier than expected, and the schedule of the “Cherry Blossom Festival” has been changed.
Previous schedule: March 25 (Saturday) to April 9 (Sunday), 2023
Latest schedule: March 21 (Tuesday) – April 9 (Sunday), 2023
During the Cherry Blossom Festival, approximately 100 stalls will be set up and various events will be held.
From sunset to around 10 p.m., the cherry blossoms will be illuminated, so visitors can enjoy cherry blossom viewing from morning till night.
Due to the schedule change of the Cherry Blossom Festival, parking will be also charged from Tuesday, the 21st.
During the Cherry Blossom Festival, the surrounding roads and parking lots will be extremely crowded.
Satte City recommends using public transportation, walking, or renting a bicycle.
As a side note, there are five parking lot around the Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi.
- Parking fee of General passenger car: 1,000 yen per trip
- Parking Lot 1 [P1]: Approx. 400 vehicles (Bus can park)
- Parking Lot 2 [P2]: Approx. 200 vehicles
- Parking Lot 3 [P3]: approx. 120 vehicles
- Parking lot 4 [P4]: approx. 130 vehicles
- Parking Lot 5 [P5]: approximately 150 vehicles
Parking Lot 4 and Parking Lot 5 may be the best places to park, especially since Parking Lot 1 and the surrounding roads are very crowded.
Latest blooming conditions
The early blooming rape blossoms are blooming along the Sakura-tsutsumi.
Someiyoshino will bloom in a few days, so we do not know if the rape blossoms in the field will be ready in time, but the early-blooming rape blossoms will be able to perform together.
Someiyoshino Cherry blossoms are just beginning to bloom here and there.
The day after tomorrow, the Sakura Festival will begin, and the Sakura-tsutsumi will be covered in pink all at once.
How was it?
About 1,000 Someiyoshino cherry blossoms bloom along the 1km-long Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi in Satte City, Saitama Prefecture, creating a tunnel of cherry blossoms.
In addition, rape blossoms are grown around the bank so that they bloom at the same time, allowing visitors to enjoy the contrast between the pale pink of the cherry blossoms and the yellow of the rape blossoms.
This year, the blooming of Someiyoshino cherry blossoms is earlier than usual, so the schedule of the “Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Festival” has been moved earlier than usual.
So, please be careful the schedule and come out to Gongendo Sakura-tsutsumi, a famous cherry blossom viewing spot, to enjoy the contrast between the cherry blossom tunnels and rape blossoms!